Category Archives: Islam

Manchester

Blowing up teenaged girls and their parents is despicable. So are the predictable vigils, flowers, little stuffed bears, politicians vowing to stand together and all the other ritual manifestations of impotence we’ll see in the next few days.

At this point, the suicide bomber’s name is known, Salman Abedi.  Yes, he was a Muslim. It appears that the bomb was fairly sophisticated and there are suggestions it was made by someone who knew what they were doing. But we’ll have to wait on the outcome of the investigation to find out if Abedi acted alone.

After this sort of attack there is a natural tendency to look at what can be done to prevent further attacks. Hardening the perimeters of public spaces and such like. The Israelis pretty much defeated the waves of suicide bombings which plagued the country a couple of decades ago by creating and enforcing very strict security in every public space in the country. Certainly, something to be looked at in England and, sadly, in Canada.

Is there an argument for more aggressive policing in Muslim majority areas? Probably. And more surveillance and more human intelligence. But I would be surprised if this had much effect. There is already a lot of surveillance and intelligence gathering in these communities and terror plots are broken up regularly.

The political classes are keen to say that “This will not break us, we will not give into hate. Islam is a religion of Peace.” They utter these banalities because they have no other solutions. Decades ago the political class decided that Muslim immigrants and refugees were exactly the same as any other sort of immigrant or refugee and that, in a matter of a generation or two, would assimilate to English or German or French society. This has not turned out to be the case. No doubt some of the blame for that rests on the native populations’ failure to really welcome Muslim immigrants. But the bulk of the problem arises from the fact that as a matter of religious and cultural practice, Muslims tend to self-ghettoize.

So long as Muslim numbers are small there is very little choice for arriving Muslim immigrants but to work hard to join the mainstream societies they have arrived in. However, once Muslim numbers increase, parallel societies grow and assimilation becomes optional.

Non-assimilation does not automatically produce terrorism. And partial assimilation, Abedi was, apparently, a Manchester United fan, does not automatically prevent terrorism. The problem is that a relatively isolated community can contain and conceal a radical fringe and that fringe can produce terrorists.

There are no easy fixes for the errors made decades ago. Yes, it would make sense to avoid making the problem worse by letting in thousands of unvetted, military aged, male Muslims as “refugees”. And it would make sense for every European nation to regain complete control over any “no go” areas in its territory. (Which may be more than a little difficult but needs to be done quickly.)

Beyond that, programs to voluntarily repatriate recent Muslim arrivals could make sense for some countries. Setting a goal and a budget to entice Muslims to leave places where they may not feel welcome is a step in the right direction. Implementing a general rule that where an immigrant or refugee breaks the law in a relatively serious way, expulsion is automatic might also be effective.

None of those measures does much damage to a rights-based, liberal, society. Whether they would do much to reduce terror remains to be seen. However, if they do not then more intrusive measures are likely to be demanded. Shutting down mosques where there are indications of radicalization, aggressive searches where weapons or explosives are suspected, repatriation of immigrants and refugees who are unemployed after a fixed period are all things which might improve security but at the cost of some of the rights of the Muslim community.

None of this is going to happen quickly. It has taken years for the West’s Muslim problem to develop and it will take years to improve the situation. Mouthing the platitudes does essentially nothing; but it will take real political courage to admit the West, in particular Western Europe, has a Muslim problem and to suggest ways of fixing it.

I am not holding my breath.

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Bully! A Splendid Little War

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So The Donald has sent in the cruise missiles in response to the Syrian sarin gas assault on its own people.

Sending 59 cruise missiles with conventional warheads and then sitting down to dinner with the Chinese President pretty much establishes Trump as a “tough guy”. But will he be smart enough to leave it at that?

In a very real sense, Trump has redrawn the “red line” which Obama and Kerry allowed to fade to palest pink. Served notice that “there is a new Sheriff in town” to quote an awful lot of pro-Trump blogs. Which, I suspect, most international players had already noticed.

The question is whether Trump is able to enjoy an American casualty free battle and move on to the next thing on his agenda. Obama demonstrated in Libya that regime change may, or may not, be for the better. Generally, it seems to be a bad idea in the Middle East simply because the next regime may be worse than the one you “changed”. During the campaign, Trump seemed to get that. Does he now?

Assad needs to go. Murderous barbarian and all. However, he needs to go when there is some idea of a better thing to replace him. That might be a new regime or it might be the carve up of both Syria and Iraq and the end of the Sykes-Picot travesty which has haunted the Middle East for nearly a hundred years.

Regime change could be accomplished with a lot of money, a few Russian Spetsnaz and a dozen bullets. But what then?

Unwinding Sykes-Picot is a much larger and, strategically, more intelligent enterprise. Defeat ISIS and then carve out the Sunni, Kurd and Shia enclaves being sensitive to the worries of the Turks and the position of the minorities. That is the work of a negotiator and a statesman. And it is something which will involve Putin as well as Trump. No bad thing that.

Right at the moment, Russia is hanging on by a thread. Demographically, economically it is in huge trouble. For Putin to survive he needs to seem indispensable. Trump can give him that. Putin can give Trump essentially nothing. Other than his nukes and his special forces, he is the Tsar of a gradually dying nation and only massive help from America can really save him. Monkeys can climb a very long way up trees, it is the getting down part which is tricky.

Syria offers Putin the opportunity to act as and be seen as a statesman.  With Trump’s help, he can open the book on Sykes-Picot and facilitate the reformation of Syria and Iraq into a loose confederation of ethnically and religiously homogenous statelets. Between the Americans and the Russians, all of the factions can be brought to the table and, with luck, disarmed and sent on their way. None of the resulting states will be heard of again for generations.

Trump has played the first card of a strategy which will likely take a few years to play out. By being willing to punish actions which are against all agreed-upon international norms Trump makes it clear that hard power is a real thing for America again.

Trump knew the world was watching and he gave them a show. Now we’ll see what he does with the attention.

 

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France and Terror

Ignored in news coverage of the Paris massacre is the single most pertinent piece of background: A 2014 opinion poll found that ISIS had an approval rating in France (at 16%) almost as high as President Francois Holland (at 18%). In the 18-to-24-year-old demographic, ISIS’ support jumped to 27%. Muslims comprise about a tenth of France’s population, so the results imply that ISIS had the support of the overwhelming majority of French Muslims (and especially Muslim youth), as well as the endorsement of a large part of the non-Muslim Left. Spengler

Spengler suggests that France will do nothing in the wake of the Paris attrocities. His logic is that to do something involves putting pressure on the French Muslim community which, in turn, will likely cause a great deal of trouble. The French don’t want the trouble so they will do nothing.

I am not sure Spengler is right but the numbers and the concentrations of Muslims in France suggest he may be.

I don’t live in France but the takeaway for Canada is that at a certain point a Muslim population becomes unmanagable. Canada is not at that point. Yet.

Realistically, Canada needs to take a hard look at immigration from Muslim majority countries. A trickle is one thing, a serious flow quite another. By eliminating, or vastly reducing, immigration from those countries we have the chance to avoid the truly awful consequences of a large, unassimilated and potentially hostile group within our borders.

I suspect if you were to ask the average Frenchman or Englishman or German whether, given the chance of a “do-over”, they would have welcomed quite so many Muslims to their nations, you would hear a chorus of Nein, Non and No. We have the opportunity to reduce our future regrets with, initially, a moratorium and then, after a decade or so, a re-examination of the question of Muslim immigration.

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Do We Get Serious?

To repeat what I said a few days ago, I’m Islamed out. I’m tired of Islam 24/7, at Colorado colleges, Marseilles synagogues, Sydney coffee shops, day after day after day. The west cannot win this thing with a schizophrenic strategy of targeting things and people but not targeting the ideology, of intervening ineffectually overseas and not intervening at all when it comes to the remorseless Islamization and self-segregation of large segments of their own countries.

So I say again: What’s the happy ending here? Because if M Hollande isn’t prepared to end mass Muslim immigration to France and Europe, then his “pitiless war” isn’t serious. And, if they’re still willing to tolerate Mutti Merkel’s mad plan to reverse Germany’s demographic death spiral through fast-track Islamization, then Europeans aren’t serious. In the end, the decadence of Merkel, Hollande, Cameron and the rest of the fin de civilisation western leadership will cost you your world and everything you love.

So screw the candlelight vigil. mark steyn

I think the events in Paris bring us a bit closer to being serious. A bit closer to the recognition of the fundamental incompatibility of Islam with Western liberal democracy. We’ll see in the morning.

The way we will see is by paying close attention to our leader’s words and their actions. To allow a million Muslims to arrive in Europe in the guise of refugees is an obvious mistake and one which, with political will, can be corrected. (And, in the Canadian case, to invite 25,000 so called refugees in on a timetable which precludes serious vetting is an excellent test of Trudeau’s seriousness as a leader.) But will it be?

Will Hollande’s “pitiless” crusade against terror actually deploy troops to the “no-go zomes” of Paris for the house to house searches to find the weapons, the illegals and the intelligence? Will the rest of Europe cheer the French on or retreat behind the tut, tuts of multikulti delusion?

We are about to find out if this night in Paris has been enough. I would have thought Charlie Hebdo would have been enough. But I was wrong then. Everybody had a nice march and went home.

Will this be enough? I am afraid I doubt it. Mark is right in that the West simply will not confront the reality of political, imperial, Islam. We’re lazy and we’re nice and we simply can’t imagine the sorts of action which might stop the flow of illegal migrants or the terror in the streets of Paris. Because to imagine that is to treat people who are deeply different from us as alien, as “other”. We are too polite to recognize and treat the cancer which is Islam.

This is a war. It is a war which has been going on since the 7th Century. The other side has always, right from the time of the prophet, understood that this is a war. The West, most of the time, pretends it isn’t. Will Paris convince us to take the war seriously? I hope so but I doubt it.

I really think it will take a mass atrocity: biological, chemical or nuclear with 100,000 or a million deaths, to put a bit of fight in us. And, sad to say, when that happens the terrified left and muddled center will probably try to figure out how to negotiate.

No, really.

When asked Thursday by CBC about confronting ISIS, Sajjan said:

“We need to get better as an international coalition … better at looking at the threats early on, to making sure that we identify them early so they don’t balloon into these big threats,”

“They were smaller at one time, we need to get better at identifying the subtle indicators so we might be able to have dealt with it diplomatically.” the rebel

(Sad to see a Sikh warrior say something so craven about the traditional enemy of the Sikhs.)

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Paris Attack

Possible suicide bombs. Gunfire. Hostages.

Networks are cautioning against concluding that this has anything to do with Islam.

35 dead, 100 hostages…

Update: It looks like 3 attacks. And it looks like they were co-ordinated.

Update #2: Daily Mail has it at 60 dead, potentially a 4th attack and, shockingly, cries of “‘Allah Akbar’ and ‘this is for Syria'” DM

Update #3: Twenty years too late, Hollande is closing the French borders. I expect there will be a lot of that.

Update #4: Now France 24 is saying attacks at 7 sites.

Update #5: There is some question as to whether France is actually capable of closing its borders. Over at Breitbart London the suggestion is that it can’t close it’s green borders and that a full modilization would be required to “secure” Paris.

Update #6: “I am shocked and saddened that so many people have been killed and injured today in a number of terrorist attacks in Paris, France, and that many others are being held hostage.” Justin Trudeau

A good start using the word terrorist to describe terrorists.

Update #7: Looks like massive casualties amongst the hostages. 100+

Update #8: Justin Trudeau is going to address the Paris atrocity shortly. It is a statement which could make or break his Prime Ministership. One word of “excuse” or “root cause” and we’ll know he is not fit for the job. However, before he speaks the Tory partisans should dial back the commentary. Trudeau is not the enemy. ISIS and political Islam is the enemy. If Trudeau can make that clear as well as extending Canadians’ deepest sympathies to France he will grow in the office. Here’s hoping.

Update #9: JT gets it “terrorist attacks” in both languages. And taking questions…good. Of course there is not much he can say at this point. Ok…one question.

Sort of like his victory speech. It was adequate. On Twitter Chris Selley said JT “was almost alarmingly subdued there”. I think it has occurred to Trudeau that he is actually the Prime Minister and, if he blows it, he could be in the position M. Hollande was in tonight having to order the storming of a hostage situation. A thought which would tend to sober anyone up. I suspect we’ll hear less about “Happy Ways” for a while.

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On Twitter John Ibbitson opines <blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>These attacks will have ugly consequences everywhere incl here. They must not change our refugee policy.</p>&mdash; John Ibbitson (@JohnIbbitson) <a href=”https://twitter.com/JohnIbbitson/status/665310036525121536″>November 13, 2015</a></blockquote>
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I suspect we are going to hear a lot of this sort of nonsense in the next few days. Of course it must change our refugee policy; we have to screen very hard indeed and if that takes until spring, so be it. We also have to think very clearly about whether we want to allow more Muslim immigrants into Canada. The situation in France – with a vast, unassimilated, Muslim community – is profoundly unhealthy. Today’s terror may or may not have its roots in that unhealthiness; but the French trouble with unassimilated Muslims is a warning.

So, yes, we do have to rethink our refugee policy. And we need to rethink our immigration policy as well.

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Islam is a Race?

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“Islam is a religion. But “Muslim” is a signifier, and the signified is not your reassuringly white neighbour. Let’s dispense with the disingenuous distinctions of Muslim-baiters and see their xenophobia for what it is—racism in another guise.”  Dr. Dawg

I commented….

What a silly position.

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master— that’s all.”

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The Dawg wants xenophobia to be racism (which is, presumptively, just so damned evil). And he deems Islam to be a religion which, amazingly, is the only racialized religion on the planet. (Oh, and by the way, in other contexts, race is simply a social construct which, I suppose, allows it to be applied, like whitewash, to any instance where it might be useful.)

Now a reasonable person might query, “Why does Dawg want Islam to be a race?” What is useful about converting a religion into a race? How does this assist our understanding of that thing? Or, cynically, is racializing Islam designed as a last ditch attempt to prevent us from understanding that thing?

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Here is a suggestion. Try running the argument that Islam is only superficially a religion; scratch the surface and you find a political ideology as fully elaborated as conservatism, liberalism, socialism or fascism. Rather than trying to fit up Islam as a race – which either does damage to Islam or to the common sense idea of race – why not pay attention to its distinctly political elements.

Do races have “law”? Islam does. Do races have a singular position on the Jews? Islam does. Do races have specific views of homosexuality? Islam does. Do races have injunctions as to how to treat non-members? Islam does. Do races have strictures as to how to treat women? Islam does. Do races proselytize? Islam does.

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One may be xenophobic or racist with respect to an actual race; but rejecting a political ideology is neither. It may be prudent. It may preserve political positions which are the basis of our society and culture; but it cannot be racist.

For the “progressive” left the defence of Islam should be a deep and enduring embarrassment. Every progressive principle, from basic human equality, feminism, anti-discrimination, anti-slavery, anti-imperialism is violated repeatedly and doctrinally by Islam.

Yet you excuse it. You accuse people who want to fight the evil politics of Islam of the very worst of progressive sins: racism. Because, for some reason, you seem convinced that it is somehow your duty to welcome the agents of your own destruction to your own country and culture. You have this weird need to prostrate yourselves before a politics of brutality, conquest, rape and subjugation.

You’ll have to excuse me if I can’t join you in your political and cultural surrender.

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False Hope

migrants, europe, syrian“Why are they stopping us now? We came to Europe because we saw the Germans on TV telling us they wanted us to come to Europe, saying welcome, welcome,” said Mohammed, 28, who worked at a cellphone shop in Aleppo, Syria, and spent a night at the hotel in Zagreb. “And now there are all these problems and all this confusion.” washington post

There is a difference between giving respite to refugees from a war zone and offering economic opportunities to economically desperate people. Both are laudable but huge trouble can erupt when one is conflated with the other.

With refugees the objective is to get them out of harms way and to take care of them. This can be achieved pretty much anywhere that is not in danger of direct attack. So, for example, the displaced Syrians in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon are all in relative safety. They need to be taken care of but that is a matter of money and logistics.

Taking on economic migrants is about what those migrants have to offer and what the host country needs. No country needs more welfare recipients. Most European countries could use young, well trained, workers as their populations are aging and their birth rates falling. But to get those workers these countries need to be selective.

The tragedy in Syria – where the civilian population is trapped in a multi-dimensional war zone – has created refugees and economic migrants. But the Europeans persist in the illusion that all the people heading north should be considered refugees.

There will be a bitter day of reckoning when this illusion is exposed. bitter for the Euros who were sucked in by their governing classes and bitter for the economic migrants who will discover that the skills they have, are not the skills which the German economic juggernaut can really use. The Euros, and especially the Germans, need to eliminate the sloppy thinking and loose language which are luring people like the poor Syrian quoted to a bleak future in countries which do not want or need them.

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14 years on – the Crusaders were Right

PolacypodAntiochiI walked down Dunbar Street in Vancouver which had a clear view of YVR. Planes were lined up on the runway in a way I’d never seen. I had been watching the news and took my then 11 year old son up to the bank to pull some money on the principle that cash was always good in a crisis.

In the fourteen years that have passed I have had one more son. I have watched the evolution of the narrative from the Islam is not responsible to the “let’s not be Islamophobic” to the bizarre spectacle of the left trying to make a migrant wave into a test of compassion. I have watched the ham-fisted attempts of the Americans and their allies to fight sensitive wars against barbarians.I have watched victories in Iraq and Afghanistan turn to dust under the inept leadership of Obama and his coven of soft power ninnies. I have watched the West welcome Muslim immigrants with the barest of security checks. I have watched Islamic terror in France, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, England, the United States and, sadly, in Canada.

Several hundred years ago the black tide of Islam rolled across the Middle East, North Africa and on into Europe. Slaughter, rape and vast population displacements brought Islam to an unsuspecting world. And then, odd assortments of Europeans began to fight back. Crusades were launched to take back the Holy Places of Christianity from the Islamic invaders. The Crusaders were a brutal, bigoted lot, just as happy to kill Jews and Orthodox Christians as Muslims. But they understood the essentials: the invading Muslims posed an existential threat to Christian Europe and they had to be stopped.

We are all a little older and a little hardened to the sheer brutality of the Islamists. Some of us, mainly on the left, would like to believe that the terror of 9-11 and all the rest has nothing to do with Islam. They would like to believe that al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram and the Muslim Brotherhood have nothing to do with Islam. They would like to believe that if we just left the Middle East alone to get on with its sectarian struggles and the eradication of Israel all would be well with the religion of Peace. When the alarm rang on 9-11 a large part of the left looked, saw largely brown people, concluded “racism” and went back to sleep.

The right’s reaction was, I’m afraid, conditioned by the left. Who wanted to be called a racist for pointing out that Islam was entirely incompatible with liberal democracy? Why court the harassment which attended to pointing out the female genital mutilation and keeping your women in bags was anti-feminist? Suggesting that Islam, at root, was medieval and, by doctrine, incapable of reform got you called Islamophobic and worse. So, unfortunately, the mainstream conservative parties – Republicans, Conservatives in Canada and the UK – bent over backward to disassociate terror from Islam. Even ISIS, that most fundamentally Islamist of organizations was touted by the right as an aberration, not Islam at all.
In the end we either learn the hard lesson of 9/11 – that Islam is antithetical to Western liberal democracy and the values it requires – or we don’t. So far we haven’t. So far we have pretended that radical political Islam is somehow an aberrant offshoot of a housebroken, enlightened Islam. We have ignored the fact that there is no moderate Islam. We ignore men like Turkey’s Erdogan who said,

“The term “moderate Islam” is ugly and offensive — Islam is Islam.

Fourteen years ago, walking down Dunbar, I was expecting the other shoe to drop, another target for mass murder to be taken out. That day the Twin Towers fell, the Pentagon was attacked and half a dozen heroes died as the first casualties of the new war on Islam as they took back control of their plane before it could reach its target.

Read a bit of history and you begin to realize that Islam is, was and always will be the religion of the sword. Our leaders, left and right can pretend otherwise but, ultimately, containing and then pushing back the black tide of Islam is the only way the things we hold dear will survive.

The Crusaders were right.

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Send the Marines

Heros: "Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Aleck Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery  Daily Mail

Heros: “Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Aleck Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery Daily Mail

The Marines on the French train were just as unarmed as the passengers of Flight 93. The difference was that, unlike the passengers on UA93, they were primed for war from the get-go. After the suspect emerged from charging his AK inside the toilet he was met by instant resistance. The rest of the training — the physical fitness, hand-to-hand combat drills, the desensitization to stress — helped in the affray. But nothing so much as the attitude the Marines carried around in their heads which allowed them to engage from time zero. richard fernandez

UPDATE: the Daily Mail tells us they were not Marines.

The Marine heros who saved, what, scores? hundreds? of fast train passengers in France were trained. They had situational awareness. More importantly, they had guts.

Right place at the right time. But the fact seems to be that French intelligence knew about the Morrocan gunman. They knew he was an Islamist. They knew he was wired into other Islamists. He was not a lone wolf, apparently. Rather he was a wolf a bit ahead of the pack.

I am delighted that the Marine heroes stopped him. But, if they hadn’t the French might have had to wake up to the fact they are at war. They might have had to take the measures against the Islamists which they have been ducking for twenty years. Mind you, when in 2004 191 Spaniards were killed in a train explosion set off by an Al Qaeda cell, not much changed in Spain.

The Marines who stopped this terrorist were brave men fighting in a noble cause. French Intelligence, not so much. But, I suspect, the French Intelligence failure was political in nature.

The French political classes, no more than the British or the Swedish political classes, cannot bring themselves to recognize that mass Islamic immigration is not compatible with a liberal, Western, society. The atrocities and near atrocities, need to add up before the political classes either wake up or are replaced. That will take a while. Whether there is enough time left is going to be interesting to see. I think there is; but it will be a close run thing

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Saudi Gets Serious in Yemen

CLf7bm-UYAA4nxaThe reported deployment of tanks and other armoured vehicles from the United Arab Emirates, which have been seen unloading in Aden over recent days, represents the first major ground involvement by the Arab coalition ranged against the Houthi rebels.

It is a signal that the air campaign launched in March has its limits and it is a sign too that the Saudi-led coalition is willing now to become more engaged in the fighting. The reinforcements may already have had a hand in the recapture of al-Anad airbase: an important asset that could provide a launch-pad for more extensive operations against the rebels. bbc

Debka has more.

It looks like the Saudis and the UAE, backed by naval bombardment, is finally getting down to business in Yemen. It is not going to be pretty because the Saudis are apparently willing to scratch the paint on their tank fleet. With 1200 tanks that is a serious force even if only a fraction is deployed.

What this means for the Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels is annihilation. And there is little chance Iran is going to be able to do much to stop them as it is occupied to the north trying to keep Assad in power and fighting ISIS.

In broader terms this is a departure for the Saudis who have usually kept ground troops at home. It is also a setback for Obama’s whistling past the graveyard Middle Eastern surrender. His boys the Iranians are going to suffer a significant loss to their Sunni enemies.

My bet is that the Saudis didn’t bother to ask permission or even tell the Americans they were going to launch this offensive. The ever dumb Kerry was in Qatar as the offensive launched meeting with Sunni leaders. Want to bet they mentioned the fact they were taking on Iranian proxies.

And if the Sunnis did not bring in the US where were they getting their satellite intelligence from. One guess. Those fiends in Israel have 24/7 high-res coverage of the relevant areas.

Things are changing fast in the Middle East. The Big Zero has been benched.

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